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Kid’s Village Day Care in West Lawn, Chicago

LeadCare Illinois provides free lead-in-water testing and training for all licensed child care facilities in Illinois to help them meet Illinois’s lead testing requirements.

Marling Licardie takes care of 10 children at Kids Village Day Care, her home-based child care center in the West Lawn neighborhood of Chicago. Marling has been caring for neighborhood children for 15 years. She needed to test her water to meet Illinois’s requirements, and decided to register with LeadCare Illinois to get free training, water testing kits, and support with mitigation planning.

Kids Village Day Care Journey

All child care providers who participate in LeadCare Illinois start with free lead in water training and a free water test kit. Mitigation actions and next steps depend on the lead level results from the first test.

  • February 2021 Registered with LeadCare Illinois
  • May 2021 Submitted first samples for lead testing and results showed lead levels above 2.01ppb*
  • November 2021 Submitted water samples for retesting after mitigation and results showed all lead levels were below 2.01 ppb
  • July 2022 In the final stages of putting mitigation in place
  • June 2022 Submitted third water samples for final retesting and one fixture had levels above 2.01ppb, retesting required
    *If results came back below 2.01 ppb, no further testing would be required

Did you know?

Illinois Public Act 99-0922 requires lead testing of water for all licensed child care facilities built on or before Jan. 1, 2000 that serve children ages 0-6.

Q: Why is it important for child care providers to know about lead in water?

Marling: It is mandatory that we test the water, so that’s why it’s something we’re beginning to talk about. I don’t think we talk about it enough. If it wasn’t for the requirement, I wouldn’t have even known that there was lead in my water. I’m glad that I tested my water so I’m at least aware. It is frightening to think about it.

Q: How do you feel now that you’ve completed the program?

Marling: I feel a lot better, and I’m a lot more confident in my water. Before I knew there was lead in my water, I felt fine. Once I became aware there was lead, it was so scary. After going through the program, I feel safer for sure.

Q: What was your experience testing your water like?

Marling: I think the program was really clear and easy to follow through. Even the process after testing was very detailed. It was very helpful to test the water again a year after. I thought it was good to know where I was standing, and to know if the work did anything or not and if there was anything else that needed to be changed.

Q: What would you tell other child care providers about the program?

Marling: I’ve told them, find a program like this where you can get help testing and changing things in the home to remove the lead and make your water safer.